No Homework Research

Homework – an eight letter word likely to spark an immediate and impassioned response. We've handed it in on time, late, or not at all (sometimes offering up creative and amusing excuses into the bargain).

Most of you reading this will have set homework, marked it and, at one time or another, questioned whether it's worth the time and effort ... It continues to be a hotly debated topic, not just among those in the school community, but in the academic community too.

The remaining state and territory education departments all have homework policies but do not make recommendations on hours.

Even if you look beyond the fact that guidelines on ‘optimum hours’ aren’t backed by research advice, suggesting set times - as the inquiry committee points out - is about the quantity of work set, rather than the quality.

Visit the Victorian Parliament website to access the inquiry committee's full report.

How is homework improving outcomes for your students? Research shows timely feedback is an important part of the process - how and when do you provide feedback to students on homework tasks?

' Providing every student with targeted feedback about their homework is very difficult for teachers, so it often falls between the cracks.' Professor John Hattie, of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, has famously calculated the 'effect-size' of more than 100 education innovations.

He recently told the BBC that homework in primary school has an effect-size of around zero 'which is why we need to get it right, not why we need to get rid of it...' He added homework does make a bigger difference in secondary school, mainly because the tasks are often about reinforcing and giving students another chance to practice what they've learnt.

Not everyone works at the same pace and has access to the same resources and support network.

On the question of quality, Hattie is urging schools to think about outcomes.

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